Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Northern winds

Last Saturday I went to Aiguamolls de l'Empordà, clearly one of the best places in Catalonia for birdwatching, with Sergi Fernández.

We arrived there at seven o'clock and we decided to go to Can Comes beach. Roses bay is a nice place to see some Loons, Razorbills, Scoters and other interesting seabirds. Some days ago, it was found a Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus) in the zone. Last weekend, the bird was refounded in La Rogera, very close to the beach.

We started our tour in La Massona, a nice pond always full of ducks. We saw nice numbers of everything: 12 Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula), 10 Northern Pintails (Anas acuta), 28 Eurasian Wigeons (Anas penelope), and lots of Teals (Anas crecca) (no Green-winged...) and Northern Shovelers (Anas clypeata). We saw also some Blue and Great Tits (Cyanistes caeruleus and Parus major), but they were 'normal' ones. Since I read this interesting post in Birding Frontiers, I'm looking for any Tit doing strange calls in Catalonia...

No rare Tits, but we saw a Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) flying over a brown reedbed. Nice mix of summer and winter things.

In the beach, where Grabi de Jesús joined with us, I was 'scaning' insistently the sea, but the light was so strange and I saw only a far Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) and a Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis).

 We went to La Rogera and we found, easily, the Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus). This isn't a very rare bird here, it's a 'regular rarity', specially 'common' in winter in Ebre Delta. ('common' means 1 - 3 birds hardly ever winter).
Horned Grebe (Podiceps aritus)
Maybe was more exciting walk around the sandbar, where we saw 3 Hoopoes (Upupa epops), some Dunlins (Calidris alpina) and Sanderlings (Calidris alba), Kentish Plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus) and 8 Grey Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola). Finally, we saw 2 nice Black-throated Loons (Gavia arctica).
Coming back to the car, we passed by a Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) and 2 Eurasian Cranes (Grus grus). Later, in the Cortalet pond, we saw +258 Greylag Geese (Anser anser), 7 Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus), 2 1cy Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia), 43 Eurasian Wigeons (Anas penelope), 4 Northern Pintails (Anas acuta), 323 Common Teals (Anas crecca), 315 Northern Shovelers (Anas clypeata), some Northern Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus), 10 Spotted Redshanks (Tringa erythropus), and another Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), as the most interesting birds.
El Cortalet
Mixture: Geese, Flamingos, Herons and some different
ducks... Can you see the Spoonbills?

Northern winds are forcing birds to go south these days. This late autumn could be really interesting...

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